Question: What Is The Big Deal With The Fifty Shades of Gray Movie?

Posted November 20, 2014 by Carmel in Question / 109 Comments


I have read AND enjoyed the FIFTY SHADES trilogy just to see what all of the buzz was about. Normally Erotica titles never make their way onto my TBR, but in this case I made an exception, and then I went ahead and listened to Sylvia Day’s CROSSFIRE series because I was told that it was a ‘better’ version of the BDSM genre. So, oddly enough I’m actually better equipped to answer this week’s question than Julie (Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks), the romance junkie, which is weird enough in itself.

I’ll probably watch the movie eventually, however I won’t be rushing out to see it on release day, and will most likely end up skipping it in theaters altogether because the very idea of sitting in a room with 250 complete strangers watching mommy porn does not appeal to me in the least. Even though I liked the book, I don’t particularly see what the big deal is; my personal take on it is that older generations are attracted by the taboo-ness of the story because before E.L. James blew their minds with Anastasia & Christian’s relationship, they never realized that lady smut existed. I and the vast majority of my readers know better.

The film will undoubtedly fail to live-up to the novel because 1. they rarely do, and 2. it isn’t being touted as a skin flick which means that the director most likely cut out or toned down the scenes that made FIFTY SHADES so controversial to begin with. The movie is rated R, but it’s been categorized as a romantic drama not erotica, and sex isn’t exactly new to the big screen, so I can’t see it breaking any box office records. Peeps’ curiosity and the studio’s brilliant marketing plan might prove me wrong though. I guess we’ll find out in February 2015!

What Is The Big Deal With The Fifty Shades of Gray Movie? Will You Watch It?

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Owner, designer and main blogger behind Rabid Reads. Avid book reader, snowboard bunny, video gamer and Supernatural fan. I love all things paranormal, werewolves especially. Oh, and I’m Canadian, eh!

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109 responses to “Question: What Is The Big Deal With The Fifty Shades of Gray Movie?

  1. I think the opening week numbers will be huge. There will be people lined up to watch it that first weekend. Will it live up to the hype, probably not. Like you said, movies are rarely better than the book, though I haven’t read this book, so I can’t comment on the quality of it. You know me, I’ve read a ton of books in this genre, but couldn’t bring myself to try this. I’ve read too many excerpts that made me cringe. I might watch the movie if it ends up on Netflix where I can watch for free.
    Melanie recently posted…Early Review: Anomaly by Tonya Kuper

    • I have no doubt that there will be line-ups on opening weekend, but how long will they last once the critics get their hands on it? I’m surprised that you passed on this one.

  2. I haven’t read the Fifty Shades books and I don’t think I will… they weren’t interesting for me at all when they came out and with all the buzz surrounding them… I felt even LESS inclined to read them.

    And the movie? Nope, not gonna watch it… I have a backlog of shows and movies I really want to watch and this one isn’t there for me… I’m sure other people will and that’s more than okay, but it’s just not for me.
    Pili recently posted…Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award!!

    • It’s funny how too much hype can actually kill a book for some; I usually fall into that category as well, but I don’t read Erotica, so my curiosity got the best of me in this instance.

  3. I know you’ll be shocked to know that I, too, read and enjoyed Fifty…and Crossfire. πŸ˜‰ A co-worker and I decided to read them to see what the fuss was about – particularly since our male cohorts were teasing about why women loved these books so much. And since I work in a bookstore, it’s always nice to be able to discuss the hot trends. Anywho, I will see the movie although I probably won’t be in a rush to see it. And we’ll see if I make it to the theater – it’s kind of a drive for me. *ha* It’s certainly being hyped and I’ll be interested to see how well it does in theaters. You never know these days…

    I will say this for Fifty – it really created readers out of people who were not previously readers. I can’t tell you how many women came into my store again and again after reading it wanting to know what they should read next. πŸ™‚
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Release Day Blitz, Review, & Giveaway ~ Bulletproof ~ Melissa Pearl**

  4. Well, I didn’t see what the big hype was when the books came out. I haven’t not nor will I read them or see the movies. I don’t think it will live up the the hype of the books because like you said it’s rated R unless rated R isn’t what it use to I would think this one if it was going to be like the books would be NC 17, but who knows these days. Either way I will not be one watching.
    Stormi recently posted…Book Review: Small Plates by Katherine Hall Page

    • I’m kinda shocked that so many of my readers will be boycotting this movie, then again, I kinda branched out when I gave the series a try, so it’s understandable. Maybe the movie reviews will change your mind. πŸ˜‰

      • I haven’t been to the movies in a while so if I am going to spend my money it will be for something So maybe one day when it comes to Netflix I will check it out..till then I will just let you tell me how it was..hehe. πŸ˜‰

  5. I like Erotica, I like a little BDSM within the books I read as well and so I went looking for excerpts of the books when they were sold out at the store I went to get them at. I read the first couple of excerpts and was like, “Wait, what?” Because to me they just weren’t good. There were excerpts posted all over blogs and forums from bloggers who were tearing apart these books so I kept reading, hoping that I would read something that would change my mind but I never did.

    The fact that there are tons of better Erotica books that were written way before this series was published that didn’t get the publicity this set of books did tells me that it’s all about marketing and marketing to people who had not read a ‘good’ erotica book before this.

    I like my Erotica books to have likable characters, a great story line and to be written in such a way that I don’t feel like some high school student wrote it out on their lunch break in their free time. I didn’t find that in this series. After seeing the previews for the movie, I seriously doubt I will waste my time on the movie either.

    But that’s just my opinion.
    Mary Kirkland recently posted…Review: Vizeri Beauty Boar Bristle Hair Brush

    • I completely understand where you’re coming from, and most erotica readers share your views. It sucks that Fifty Shades has become THE face of this genre, because like you said, there are so many other way more talented authors who are being snubbed as a result of marketing. It’s unfortunate, but if the movie pushes peeps to eventually try those other similar novels, it won’t have been a total waste.

  6. I haven’t read the books, but my youngest was given the trilogy and told she must read them. So she comes over and is sitting at the table with me and asks, “Mom do you read erotica?” I reply, sometimes and some of my romances get pretty steamy. Why?” She says, “I started reading Fifty Shades and I don’t see the appeal. The writing is awful, it’s all sexy no plot. Who reads this crap?” My response….”It’s a book for non-readers, it was exciting for them and now they won’t read for another 6 years.”
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Silent Night by C.J. Kyle

    • I have to agree with your daughter, the writing was pretty awful, or rather the editing was. E.L. James wrote it on a bus during her commutes to work, and I don’t think they changed much, not that that would have made the novel significantly better mind you.

    • Way to bury your head in the sand! I’m a tad bit jealous of your avoidance skills. The internet always seems to gang up on me whenever I’m trying to tune-out spoilers for something.

  7. I haven’t read the books, but sheer curiosity is going to drive me to the movie for sure. I can’t help it:) It will be interesting to see what they do with the BDSM scenes and how artistic they make them so to keep it from being gratuitous (or super awkward for that matter). I’m with you though in that watching this with a bunch of strangers doesn’t sound like a great time, so I might just wait for it to be on HBO:)

    • I can understand not being willing to commit to reading the book, but still checking-out the movie. I’m guilty of that where many series are concerned *cough* The Hunger Games *cough* At least you own up to it. Hehe!

  8. I read 50 Shades and I felt it was “meh”. I didn’t think it was worth all the hype of being the best/sexiest book or the crappiest. It was just there. I’m surprised that it got picked up for a movie to be honest. Doesn’t seem like something that would be allowed on the big screen. So you’re probably right, they toned it down. I may rent it on netflix when it comes out but I’m not gonna lie, I will probably be a little uncomfortable watching it with the Mr judging like, “this is what everyone went nuts over?!” To which I will pick up one of my many guilty pleasure erotica reads, hand it to him and say, “Honey, they have no idea.”

    • # 1 will probably watch it with me as well, and I can definitely see an awkward conversation or two spawning from it. Luckily, I don’t really read this genre, so I can plead the 5th. LOL

  9. I LOVED this book when I read it (yes read) not so much on audio BTW. And the hipe doesn’t surprise me, this is like Twilight all over again, I still remember my first days on Goodreads finding all those 1 stars for that book – plus a lot hate from the old time romance readers – But I’m a twilight child, that book made me fall in-love with the romance genre, just as Fifty Shades has done with millions of women..Yes not the best out there, but obviously it had what it takes to reach thousands, on the other hand, I have NO desire to see the movie nor I’m excited a bout it, but I can see why is so popular.
    lupdilup recently posted…Red Rising Audiobook by Pierce Brown (review)

    • I got caught-up in the Twilight madness as well, so it sounds like you & I are both easy prey for marketing peeps. It’s funny how you left your first comment saying you didn’t want to watch the movie, looked at the trailer, and left a follow-up. Not only am I adding to your TBR pile, but your film watching too. πŸ˜‰

  10. I haven’t read Fifty Shades, but I read lots of other smut, so I think I know what you’re talking about anyway πŸ˜‰ I enjoy good smut, that makes me all hot and bothered, but I enjoy it even more if there’s a real story and some character development to go with that, you know? I have also read BDSM, and it’s very interesting to read about characters who are into that.
    I don’t think I’ll see the Fifty Shades movie at all, first of all because I haven’t read the books, and I’m not at all invested in the story and its characters, and also because this is one area when I think my very own imagination is enough… I wouldn’t want to actually watch sex scenes in movie form, even if I love reading about it.
    I do agree, though, anything that can ‘make’ readers out of people who don’t usually read is a win!
    Lexxie recently posted…Review: The Shape of My Heart – Ann Aguirre

  11. Debbie Haupt  

    Hey Carmel, great post. I’m being forced to read the novels, e-rom doesn’t end on my reading pile either. But my daughter, my BFF and just about everyone I know is raving about it and I’ve promised said BFF to go see the movie with her when it releases. I mean I’m not kicking and screaming but I don’t see what the big deal is either.

    • I love how you say ‘being forced.’ You’re trying something new, so that’s a win, plus it’ll give you something to talk about with your daughter & BFF. πŸ™‚

  12. I think I might watch it on tv one day but I know I won’t see it in theaters. I haven’t read the books and don’t really care but I tend to give most movies a shot when I’m bored at home. lol

    • I think that’s how most of these movies end up getting everyone in the end. There’s nothing like a rainy Sunday afternoon, and having a few hours to kill.

  13. I am positive the movie will not live up to the book, but I will probably see it (eventually) anyway. Honestly, the books weren’t very well written (in my opinion), but I just kept coming back for more.

    • That’s hilarious that you walked out of Magic Mike cuz of the story. I know what your real priorities are now! You raise a good point about the release date though.

  14. This is one bandwagon I never got on…LOL I didn’t read the books and am not interested in watching the story unfold on the big screen. I’m not a huge fan of new adult and that’s what I consider this to be so I’ll save myself the frustration of watching another Kristen Stewart-esque performance! I’d probably give it a shot on a raining day when it comes on Netflix…just to see what all the hype was about πŸ™‚
    Lori recently posted…DARK SIRENS Series Blast + Giveaway

  15. My problem is that I haven’t felt any desire whatsoever to read the book. I HAVE read similar books (like Sylvia Day’s Crossfire) but not 50 Shades, for some reason. And since I haven’t read the book, I see no reason to watch the movie. It’ll only ruin the book for me IF I ever decide to actually read it.

    • I think this will be the rare exception where watching the movie first won’t ruin the book for you because the writing wasn’t exactly top notch to begin with. Sylvia Day’s series was much better anyway IMO.

    • I think Kimberly hit the nail on the head with her comment. Maybe my reluctance to read erotica comes from this series; I should branch out & see what else this genre has to offer.

  16. I personally liked the Fifty Shades books, but I didn’t love it. I do not understand what the big deal really is either. I honestly, hated the heroine in the book, until the very last one. And I sometimes didn’t much care for the hero either. Other then that the story was interesting. That was what I liked about it.

    And from the trailers I’ve seen about the movie, I feel that both the main leads will not do the book justice, and I also don’t see how this movie will be any good at all even if it wasn’t anything like the book.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Whitney@Shooting Stars Reviews
    Whitney recently posted…Release Day Blitz & Giveaway: United Anthology

    • Both of the protagonists are broken, and try to fix each other throughout the story which is a recipe for disaster. I’m kinda sick of the whole rich billionaire trope too, it’s so overdone. And, I’m not a fan of the actor choices either.

  17. I’ve not read them either. Not really an erotica reader, however have been known to read some smut-if it’s got a good story to go along with it. Alice Clayton books are favorites of mine. And of course all the rock star books. But that’s as close as I get to erotica-yet. I will probably watch the movie when it comes on one of my movie channels or Netflix, just to see what the hype is all about. I can always turn it off πŸ™‚

  18. I have not read the books and have no desire to. But a part of me is curious why this book is such a big deal. Why my mother in law even read it (that is just weird to me cause she’s pretty uptight). And why my best friends MOM gave it to her for her birthday (WEIRD). I won’t watch the movie in the theater cause like you said, weird. I guess we’ll see if I watch it a home, I’m really not sure.
    Candace recently posted…10 Books Perfect for Dreary Fall Days

    • Like I said, I think it appeals to older generations for some weird reason. If they only knew what kind of smut is available on Amazon these days, they wouldn’t be worshiping Fifty.

    • The showing for this will definitely be a good place to people watch… or maybe not. Do you really want to know what goes on in a dark theater during an ‘adult’ movie? πŸ˜‰

  19. To be honest, I’m not sure what the big deal is about the books anyway… I’ve never had an interest in reading them, I do read erotica every now and then but never felt the need to read these. I’ve been seeing people post the trailer(s) for the movie. Guess we’ll see how disappointed they are that it didn’t live up to the books in Feb.

  20. I had intended buying the books, but I read the first few paragraphs of the first book in the Amazon sample and I just rolled my eyes and said BLECH!!!

    Just reading a few paragraphs and not liking them usually wouldn’t turn me off but in this case, I was just dumbfounded by the IMO juvenile and oh so predictable and hackneyed beginning, I really couldn’t do it.

    I’ve just watched Season 1 of The Fall starring Jamie Dornan, the first time I’ve seen him in anything. The chilling malevolence of this series is, of course, way different to 50 Shades but I can see why he would bring something special to the role of Christian. He’s obviously a very versatile and skilled actor. I might be tempted to see the movie for that reason alone, but not to read the books.

    • Reading a sample of this book is enough to turn anyone off; the writing and editing are sub par at best. I did it purely for entertainment, and ended up enjoying the story, but I definitely had to shut down most of my brain to do so. I’m not familiar with Jamie Dornan as an actor, so maybe I should watch a few episodes of The Fall first. I don’t want Fifty to ruin him for me.

    • Glad I’m not the only one who’s freaked out about watching this one in theaters. If you didn’t enjoy book 1, then it’s probably best that you stopped there because the rest of the trilogy is same sh*t different day.

  21. I don’t know. I finally read the first book just to do it, but I didn’t think it was all that good. I mean, especially compared to some really amazing books out there. But I don’t know why people make such a big deal out of it and the movie. Maybe it’s just become a symbol for women wanting to express and explore their sexuality.
    Christy recently posted…Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

    • Unfortunately, I think it has empowered women’s sexuality in a way, and it’s kinda sad that it took Fifty to do that. I don’t think the book deserved all of the praise it received, but I’m not opposed to anything that gets peeps reading.

  22. Joy from Thoughts By J  

    I think it’s very smart of them to release it on Vday because that in itself will attract a lot of people, especially for girls night outs. I have no read the series and I do not intend to. I love a bit of smut in my books but I’m not an erotica reader so the series has no appeal for me at all. Another reason would be the infamous contract that binds the two characters together…seriously wtf. Who does that?! I guess I can’t judge it too much since I haven’t read it, but yeah….I don’t get what the big deal with the film is either. :/
    Joy recently posted…Book Review + Giveaway: This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

    • The contract is… special. February and Vday didn’t click when I first saw the release date, but I guess the timing makes more sense now. Plus, there’s not much else to do that time of the year, so they are probably banking on that to help boost box office sales.

  23. I’m curious about the movie, but since I only got to book #2 in the series and didn’t particularly enjoy it, it’s not like I’m holing my breath or anything. So the hype is totally lost on me, tbh. I will probably watch it at some point, just to get some closure on the story since I can’t get myself to read #3 in the series, lol.
    So one movie for the whole series? Or a series of movies, lol? Just so I know when that closure would happen, lol πŸ˜€
    Livia recently posted…Home and Back Again by Pamela L. Todd, Now You See Me Giveaway

    • I honestly don’t know if they are squeezing the whole series into one book, I haven’t researched it very much. My guess would be no, because if it does good, they’ll obviously want to put out two more films to maximize their profits.

  24. I read and enjoyed the books so I’ll go to the cinema to see the film with my friends. I’m sure we’ll have a laugh and treat ourselves to a bottle of wine in the pub after and dissect it scene it by scene. I cringe every time I hear the phrase “mommy porn”.

  25. random fact: we have “secret” porn theatres here in my country, so I guess it’s not THAT weird to sit in a room with strangers and watch mommy porn together? >_<

    I had to crack up at that though. That does not sound like my ideal movie experience, disregard whether or not I read and liked the book.

    What's the deal with "romantic drama" and not an erotica? Does that mean there will be no explicit sex scenes in the movie? I don't know… what's the point of making it into a film, then? *rolls eyes.
    Amanda recently posted…Talon: Review by Lectus of On Lectus

    • Interesting! I’m going to have to pay more attention the next time I visit your blog to figure out what country you’re from. LOL! I’m not really sure what’s the different between romantic drama, and flat out erotic. Guess we’ll see in February!

    • Haha! Sorry if I just ruined your Fifty Shades movie going experience, Naomi. Finally, someone who liked the book! I was beginning to feel like a weirdo after reading over the comments.

  26. Jennifer Bielman from Bad Bird Reads  

    Honestly, I get excited about any movies about books I read. To get a visual of a book I loved feels amazing to me. I agree, the books are always better, but I love to see what directors can come up with. I am very excited about the movie, but I have never been one to watch the first showings. I usually wait a few weeks until the movie loses some of its hype.
    Jennifer Bielman recently posted…Excerpt & Giveaway: Chancing on You by Melinda Ellen (Book Blitz)

    • I’m with you; I always approach the movie as a separate entity, and judge it for its entertainment value not accuracy. I just love seeing fictional characters come to life on the big screen!

  27. I read 50 Shades because…well, I needed to know. And what I know is that if you take out the sex there isn’t much plot. It’ll be interesting to hear what the writers/director have done to flesh out (haha) the story. I’ll probably watch it but there’s no way I’m going to pay for it in theatres…maybe I’ll sign out the DVD from work when we inevitably buy a copy for the library, LOL.
    Danya recently posted…Review: Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews

    • The plot was definitely on the light side, so I don’t know how they are going to manage to make a full length movie out of the story without lots of sex scenes. I won’t be spending money on it either.

  28. Amber Elise  

    I didn’t make it far in 50 Shades but I DID read and enjoy Bared to You, how is the audio on that one by the way?

    I want to see 50 Shades mostly because I’m curious as to how they will handle the sex. Clearly they can’t go all full frontal (and I don’t think I want to see that either in a dark room with strangers), so are we just going to have a lot of quick shots and moaning? Whatever they decide to do, I think the result will be awkward.

    I do; however, enjoy Beyonce’s rendition of Crazy in Love. That’s my favorite part of the movie so far. Bwahhaa .

    Amber Elise @ Du Livre

  29. I have a different opinion, Carmel πŸ™‚ I LOVED the book #1 and #2 when they came out as self-pubs because I never read anything like that before. Then I read more fro that subgenre, came back to the books and could not go through, they were so poorly written πŸ™‚ So I think the movie will be an improvement as it will get rid of that annoying Ana’s inner dialogue which drove me crazy in the first time. Yeah, it will be soft, but there is a chemistry between the main characters, and I think I’d enjoy it immensely. Now, if someone only made a movie on Tiffany Reisz’s work… I’d fall on my knees and rejoice :))) Alas, she is way too controversial for the big screen.
    kara-karina recently posted…The Postman Knock #103

    • Thanks for the interesting perspective! I can see how coming back to this series after reading more erotica would change your opinion of it. I have a feeling that would be the case for me as well. The movie might indeed be an improvement on the book because the director will need to trim a lot of the fat to make the story fit into 2-ish hours. Excellent point!

  30. So 50 Shades opened up the erotica genre for me actually. Before it, I hadn’t tried it and its still one of the better eroticas I’ve read. Because I like my erotica with story. But even though it has a good story, I’m with you, I’d be surprised if that story without the major erotica will make the movie a success. And I get that they couldn’t make a major motion picture and get an R rating if they made it erotica, but yeah. Its an erotic romance. And no way in the world I’m seeing it in the theater. Not a movie to watch with strangers. So I wonder how they’ll do in the box office with many people feeling that way. I’ll watch it, but at home!
    Berls recently posted…20 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

    • It could go either way I think; maybe peeps will wait for DVD, or throw caution into the wind & watch it in theaters. I’m just happy to learn that I wasn’t the only blogger who’s first forage into erotica was Fifty.

  31. I’ve read 50 Shades and enjoyed it enough to read the other two, but not enough to rave about it, and I’ve certainly read better and more enjoyable stories since. But I won’t be going to see the film. Without it being straight out porn I don’t see how they’d manage to capture the book at all, and considering I’m not all that into films (or visuals in general) and like to imagine things myself, I doubt it would be worth me watching.
    Laura recently posted…Blog Tour: Divine Scales by Jennifer Blackstream

    • Woot! Another reader who’s not afraid of owning up to liking this trilogy. I don’t blame you for passing on the movie, especially if they aren’t your thing to begin with. No sense in making an exception for this one.

      • Like Berls said above, 50 Shades opened up a genre for me, though I do prefer reading my erotica in ebook form now, and it’ll always hold a place in my esteem for that, plus it’s far from the worst thing I’ve ever read (though it also isn’t the best, if you like BDSM erotica then try the Wicked Play series, I really enjoyed those).
        Laura recently posted…Book: A Delightful Arrangement by Cecilia Gray

      • I haven’t read any other erotica other than this series & Sylvia Day’s. I don’t review that genre on the blog, so that probably has something to do with it.

  32. I’ve tried to read 50 shades but stopped and even though some of my fellow bloggers really loved it (Like you, Carmel :D) I’m not pressuring myself to read it again. Not every book is for me anyway. And I guess every body is fussing about this because E.L James is a genius who will take over the world someday!! Okay, that’s not really it.

    50 shades broke a lot of book records, some people will hate it eventually. It’s not surprising πŸ˜› I won’t probably watch the movie too. I don’t wanna shock my mother that I know all about 50 shades, for her I’m still a baby. HAHA! And this is not sure yet, but there are news that they won’t show the movie here in our country (Philippines) 😐

    Great discussion post, Carmel!! <3
    Paula M. recently posted…Bookish Thoughts #001: ‘take that book away from me. please and thank you.’

    • Oh, no, you wouldn’t want to ruin your mom’s opinion of you! E.L James made a bit of a scene at RT13, so I can’t say that I’m her biggest fan, but I enjoyed her books for what they were intended to be. No more, no less, and I’ll do the same for the movie.